A busy weekend in Brisbane and Yatala Pies

I’ve just got home (Canberra) after a busy weekend in Brisbane to see my daughters. May is a big month for us, my father’s birthday is in May, my eldest two daughters both share a birthday in May (two years apart), it’s mothers day in May and my birthday is in May.

I arrived late Friday night and the girls were already in ‘bed’ ready to sleep. They had a big Saturday ahead of them.

On Saturday we got out of bed at 5 am and ate a quick breakfast. I had peanut paste on toast (I didn’t have time for a low carbohydrate meal) while the two youngest ones had Mum’s lemon curd on toast. We had to be on the road by 6.30 am and on our way to Yatala for the QGSSSA Cross Country championships. Athletics is not the favourite sport for Miss13 and Miss17 however, as all rounders they compete in as many sports as possible. The meet is held at Rivermount College which isn’t part of the QGSSSA. The college is at Yatala near the Gold Coast.

Just thinking back a bit, when I arrived Friday night I discovered that a tube of moisturiser (yes I have Ichthyosis) had ‘exploded’ in my bag and the shirt I was going to wear had been ruined. Mum said I should wear one of Dad’s shirts. She also said it would be warm so short sleeves wouldn’t be a problem. I always listen to my mother.

So we arrive at Yatala and it’s cloudy and cold. I’m shivering. Thanks Mum 🙂

[To get more detail out of the images, click on them, they should open in a new window with a higher resolution. I’m happy to receive comments on the photography. Some images were captured with a Canon PowerShot G16 and the others with a Nikon D7100. I shoot in manual and capture RAW files to allow some post processing in Adobe Lightroom. ]

Rivermount College GPS coordinates

Rivermount College GPS coordinates

Rivermount College GPS coordinates

Rivermount College GPS coordinates

The girls run well and enjoy themselves. The next stop is the Sleeman Sports Complex in Chandler. We have to get Miss17 there for gymnastics training. Even though she didn’t make the Queensland team this year she’s allowed to compete at the national championships this week in Melbourne. She has to train at Gymnastics Queensland headquarters in Chandler. Before we get there though, Miss17 suggests a spot of morning tea at Yatala Pies.

Yatala Pies is a bit of an institution in South East Queensland. Their pies are known far and wide. Funnily enough I’ve never eaten in the Yatala Pies shop. This was a first.

The Famous Yatala Pies shop at Yatala near Queensland’s Gold Coast http://yatalapies.m2media.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/feature1.jpg

Yatala Pies on Urbanspoon


Miss17 had a curry chicken and vegetable pie, Miss13 had a sausage roll and I elected to have a pasty. It’s been ages since I’ve had a good pasty. This one didn’t disappoint. I loved it.


Yatala pies pasty

Yatala pies pasty

Yatala pies takeaway box.

Yatala pies takeaway box. You can see Miss13’s sausage roll in the background.

Now regulars readers know me so it shouldn’t be any surprise that when I saw Vanilla slice I had to have one. Yatala Pies sells French Vanilla slices with a whopping big layer of French vanilla cream. It was gorgeous.

Yatala Pies French vanilla slice

Yatala Pies French vanilla slice

After a lot of driving back and forth between Chandler and Chermside it was a long tiring day. After getting the kids back to my parents’ place it was time to cook our special May dinner to celebrate so many birthdays and mothers day.

I said to Mum that I wanted to cook salmon and would be wonderful is Miss17 could make a salad. I also made a pumpkin cauliflower mash which I used to smear the plate and perch the salmon on.



#Dinner is salmon on a smear of pumpkin cauliflower mash with a green salad

#Dinner is salmon on a smear of pumpkin cauliflower mash with a green salad

For dessert, Miss17 had made an ice cream cake. The base was made with Ferrero Rocher, Chocolate Mint and Queensland nut (Macadamia) ice creams. The top had a combination of mixers added to make it a cake to remember.

Miss17 made me a Ferrero rocher, chocolate mint and Queensland nut ice cream cake with heaps of mixers

Miss17 made me a Ferrero rocher, chocolate mint and Queensland nut ice cream cake with heaps of mixers

After dinner we watched The Hunger Games on DVD. I’d never seen it before. It was good.

After a good night’s sleep Miss19 joined us after a busy weekend of working and studying. We had planned a special breakfast together. My daughters and me 🙂 We decided to head to Groove Train at Chermside because it was close and the last time we were there we enjoyed the food.

The Groove Train on Urbanspoon


I asked for poached eggs with bacon, hollandaise sauce, avocado and mushrooms. It was pretty good.

Poached eggs with bacon, hollandaise sauce, avocado and mushroom on sourdough toast

Poached eggs with bacon, hollandaise sauce, avocado and mushroom on sourdough toast

Miss13 asked for pancakes

Pancake stack with berries and maple syrup

Pancake stack with berries and maple syrup

After breakfast I had to take Miss17 back to Chandler for more training. I said my goodbyes and then caught a flight back to Canberra.

Dinner while watching Master Chef Australia was a nude burger with tomato, bacon and Coon cheese.

Nude Wagyu burger with bacon, tomato and Coon cheese

Nude Wagyu burger with bacon, tomato and Coon cheese

If you have any comments or questions please send me a comment in the space below.

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Hope you had a great weekend and ate YUMMY

Gary the #breakfast canary @hahabarcbr

This morning Bron and I had breakfast at the Ha Ha Bar in Belconnen on Lake Ginninderra.

Continue reading

Sunday #breakfast @hahabarcbr | Ha Ha Bar Belconnen recommendation from @Girlhassparke

I’ve lived in Belconnen since 2007 and have never been to the Ha Ha Bar on Lake Ginninderra. Yesterday Megan mentioned on Twitter that breakfast at the Ha Ha Bar never disappoints.

So this morning I ventured to the Ha Ha Bar for breakfast.

I arrived shortly after 8 am and the place had a good smattering of customers. Soon after I arrived more people came streaming in demonstrating the Ha Ha Bar’s popularity.

The service was friendly and helpful. I was shown a table on the balcony overlooking  Lake Ginninderra. It was a view that allowed me to do a little people watching as locals walked, jogged, ran and cycled by.

I asked for a long black coffee on being seated and when it arrived it looked great. It was rich, dark and strong.

A picture of a cup of coffee

A long black coffee from the Ha Ha Bar in Belconnen

The menu looks pretty standard for restaurant that does breakfast, lunch and tea (plus high tea).

I asked for my standard, i.e., Eggs Benedict with bacon rather than ham. The Ha Ha Bar also adds a bit of spinach which is a nice touch.

a photograph of Eggs Benedict

Poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce, bacon and spinach for a delicious breakfast at Ha Ha Bar Belconnen

The eggs were cooked perfectly with a lovely runny yolk. The Hollandaise had a nice rich creaminess which made the spinach and bacon even more delicious. The bacon was streaky and nicely cooked. I’d happily eat eggs here again.

If you have any comments or questions please send me a comment in the space below.

Please like the Yummy Lummy Facebook page

Please follow me on Instagram

Please follow Yummy Lummy and Gary on Twitter.

Hope you had a great weekend and ate YUMMY

Ha Ha Bar on Urbanspoon

The Ha Ha Bar website http://www.hahabar.com.au/

Google maps https://goo.gl/maps/pcQbn

A fabulous weekend in Brisbane with lots of eating out

I spent this weekend in Brisbane visiting my daughters and parents. I’ve been looking forward to this time away for quite a few weeks. It would give me a chance to celebrate Miss13’s birthday and it would be great to enjoy some warm weather in Brisbane.

One of the highlights of last week was being featured in the good food and wine guide in The Canberra Times  Continue reading

What happened to Pizzazz in Kingston? Discovering Urban Pantry

I got back to Canberra last night after a few days in Sydney watching Miss15 compete in the Australian Gymnastics Championships. She was pretty happy, she got a bronze medal for the uneven bars and did quite well overall. The drive was tiring because it was raining pretty heavily and the roads at night when they’re wet have the occasional bad driver. It’s a roughly three hour drive and I was going to stop at Goulburn for something to eat but in the end just drove through.

I’d spoken with Bron and we agreed on a breakfast at Pizzazz. We’d been there many times before and enjoyed the breakfast menu. They make fantastic waffles. When we arrived we noticed the doors were closed and the windows were papered up. After circling the block once we drove to Manuka and walked around until we came across Urban Pantry. We looked in the window and noticed the bread. On inquiry the Sonoma organic sourdough bread is delivered from artisan bakers from Sydney. The menu was pretty standard for a fancy Canberra cafĂ©. We both chose the Eggs Benedict with bacon on sourdough bread. Out of interest, Bron asked what is the minimum requirement to call something Eggs Benedict when it’s not just poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, with ham on a muffin. If anyone has an opinion let me know (I know I could run a WordPress poll but I couldn’t be bothered at the moment). Does anyone know what’s happening with Pizzazz?

The coffee was good. It was rich and aromatic. The meal itself was mostly good. My bacon was crispy with burnt pieces. The burnt pieces left a slightly acrid taste in my mouth. The bread was delicious and the organic free range eggs and hollandaise were really very nice. At about $20 a plate, it was more expensive than many other places but it tasted very good. We sat outside but it was plastic sheeted in and the heaters did a good job. The tables were a good size and the chairs comfortable.

Eggs Benedict from Urban Pantry (iPhone)

Today I spent a good portion of it preparing for a rental inspection. While I was doing that I prepared some meals for lunches at work this week. I prepared some belly pork in a new saucepan I bought from Ikea on Friday and then prepared some vegetables. I loaded up a casserole and cooked the dish in a low oven for three hours.

Pork curry (iPhone)

This afternoon I watched Iron Lady with Bron and ate some of her homemade Cinnabon classic.

Cinnabon (iPhone)

Tonight Bron made a Thai red beef curry. It was really good.

Thai red beef curry (iPhone)

It was a good day 🙂




Cheesecake returns

Earlier this year Bron made a claim that she would cook a different cheesecake every month. We’ve certainly enjoyed some great cheesecakes however, the one a month concept hasn’t quite come to fruition.

Today we started with breakfast at a sort of new place. The old Hudson’s in the Gardens is now floresco in the Gardens. Bron had Eggs Benedict with bacon and I had Eggs Benedict with Kransky sausage (A cured cooked sausage of dubious contents and indeterminate age). The cafĂ© was only a week new under the new management. The Eggs Benedict tasted really good with a really smooth and tasty Hollandaise sauce. The Kransky was a little small and not as spicy as I was hoping for. I like a big spicy Kransky sausage. They also didn’t have any cracked pepper on hand which was a slight disappointment.

Eggs Benedict with Kransky (iPhone)

After a bike ride and then a walk I had a late lunch. The other day we did a trip to CostCo and bought a box of pork buns and yesterday Bron bought me a can of pineapple Fanta from a shop (she won’t tell me the name). The pork bun was really good.

Pork bun and pineapple Fanta (iPhone)

Tonight for dinner Bron made a slow roasted chicken with preserved lemons and risotto. The preserved lemons come from a twitter friend who is well known for her lemon curd, lemon jam drops and preserved lemons.

Chicken with preserved lemons and risotto (iPhone)

And for the Pièce de résistance we had vanilla baked cheesecake with salted caramel sauce and vanilla cream. This was so light and yet so rich and so so sweet and unctuous.

Vanilla baked cheesecake with salted caramel sauce and vanilla cream (iPhone)


Seasalt Dining for Sunday breakfast

This morning we went to Seasalt Dining for breakfast. We’d been here before for dinner and quite enjoyed it.

This morning was reasonably cool in Canberra so a warm place and a good breakfast was called for. I was keen on eggs and posted this on instagram as soon as I saw the menu.

Bron and I had Eggs Benedict with bacon and coffee.

Eggs Benedict with bacon (iPhone with filter for instagram)

The eggs were soft and the yolk ran free on cracking the white membrane. The toast was nice and not too stiff.

I’d rate the experience 6.5 out of 10. The service was friendly but a little disorganised. The orders didn’t come out together and there was a sense of confusion to the place. The food was okay but the menu was a very standard breakfast/brunch list. There was nothing special to it. I’d go again with a crowd if better Canberra venues were not available.

As I said to Bron, her Eggs Benedict are close to an order of magnitude better.


My first Wagyu beef cooking experience

Yesterday we went to Costco and bought some Wagyu beef.

Wagyu steak from Costco

This morning we started with homemade Eggs Benedict to prove a point about the niceness of runny yolks and a smooth Hollandaise sauce. While yesterday’s breakfast was nice, this was better.

Bron's Homemade Eggs Benedict. Runny yolks are good.

A lot of thought and some research went into preparing for this evening’s meal. Wagyu beef is an expensive investment. The returns in terms of delicious flavours need to be maximised through careful cooking. The last thing we wanted was for the meat to be mishandled in any way.

After reading many websites and articles, we agreed on this method http://www.evernote.com/shard/s183/sh/6d02cff7-25f4-4a37-84ad-453bfa366032/72e8c7be756eac09e6fe4edc9b06a67c This is a method advocated by the Internet Chef.

Without an induction stove top we worked out our plan of attack. The meat was chilled and then the board dressed Jamie Oliver style to apply the seasoning. One side was cooked for 90 seconds and the fillet was turned and placed on a low heat hob with the lid on for 45 minutes. After cooking it was rested for 10 minutes. During this time Bron prepared a Jamie Oliver horseradish mash and we also had asparagus and peas.

Just look at how beautiful this piece of meat looks. It's good enough to cut thinly and eat raw.

The rib eye fillet looks gorgeous. Unctuous, gorgeous, beautiful, YUM…

Seasoned after seasoning the board as per Jamie Oliver

Don’t worry, this is not too much salt.

Bron's plate

I dissected the lean fillet from the fatty deckle. Bron prefers the lean fillet and I love the fatty deckle. The lean fillet was delicious and went well with the horseradish mash and peas.

My plate

I love the fatty deckle and all its succulent juiciness. The sauce was simply a white wine reduction with a little Dijon mustard and cream in the beef’s pan juices.

The tastiest meat and fat I've ever had

The deckle meat is on the left. It was separated from the lean fillet by a nice piece of fat. The fat tasted amazing. It was not a ‘fatty’ texture at all. It melted in my mouth and was full of flavour.

Steamed pudding with chocolate cherry sauce

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe.

Maestral Mediterranean and Seafood restaurant in Weston

Yesterday was a slow kind of day. We started with brunch at Black Pepper in Belconnen. This is a local café that does a good breakfast and brunch on weekends. It is very popular amongst locals and especially cyclists and walkers who exercise around Lake Ginninderra.

Bron asked for Eggs Benedict on Turkish bread and I asked for the Black Pepper big breakfast with Turkish bead. Black Pepper Menu July 2012

When our meals arrived, the Eggs Benedict were sitting on a muffin. Rather than waste time and send the dish back, I shared my Turkish bread.

Beautiful eggs Benedict

The plates were cold and the bacon was also cold. The eggs were slightly over cooked. The yolks were still soft but they weren’t really runny like we like them. Otherwise, the Eggs Benedict and Black Pepper Breakfast were very nice. As you can see I also asked for a bowl of hollandaise sauce to go with my breakfast. Along with our coffees, it was a good start to the day.

The day got better with a visit to Costco. I wanted to see the optometrist, although I didn’t realise I needed an appointment. I’ll be returning next Saturday. To compensate my disappointment we went to look at the meat section. There is a whole cold section dedicated to Australian produced Wagyu beef.

I will blog soon about cooking Wagyu beef.

The Maestral Mediterranean and Seafood restaurant is on 13 Trenerry Street in Weston. The menu is a combination of Croatian, seafood and beef. The surf and turf/reef and beef options look amazing.

We started with baby fried calamari and then went onto a Maestral seafood platter.

Baby fried calamari

The calamari was perfectly fried. It was juicy and tender.

The Maestral seafood platter. The soft shell crab was the highlight.

The platter had a combination of oysters (natural and oysters Maestral [see menu]), scampi, prawns, fish, soft shell crab and fried potatoes.

Me smiling because I love seafood platters

I would definitely go back and try other dishes on the menu. It’s a very popular restaurant. We saw a number of familiar faces and friends there last night.

After the Maestral we thought we’d enjoy dessert at Max Brenner in Belconnen. I chose the waffle with strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

Max Brenner waffle with strawberries and vanilla ice cream

And so finished a pretty good day.

Brunch at Poachers Pantry

After last night’s effort I didn’t feel overly full when I woke up so we decided to go to brunch at Poachers Pantry in Springrange in NSW (just outside of the ACT). This is not a regular brunch place with standard brunch fare like Eggs Benedict and waffles and pancakes and things like that. The menu is a little different. It is well worth visiting if you get a chance.

The menus are at the website. This is the brunch menu http://www.poacherspantry.com.au/menus-brunch

After a much needed coffee I had Welsh Rarebit. This is a childhood favourite. I remember Mum making it for me on weekends for breakfast and sometimes it would be a light dinner. As a kid I’d always call it Welsh Rabbit lol 🙂

The coffee wasn’t anything to write home about.

Welsh Rarebit

Closer view of the cheesy goodness

Poachers Pantry also sells a lot of their produce especially their smoked goods and wines. Their website http://www.poacherspantry.com.au/ is a good place for recipes too.

Poachers Pantry on Urbanspoon